Prolific Korean director Hong Sangsoo won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 71st Berlin Film Festival on Friday for “Introduction”.
Hong has been honored at the prestigious film festival for the second year in a row, after winning the Silver Bear for Best Director for “The Woman Who Ran” last year.
The 71st Berlinale was held entirely online Monday through Friday due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the announcement of the awards was broadcast online.
“More than telling a story or effectively advancing a narrative, this script fabricates those momentary intervals between one action and another,” one reads on the official Berlinale website, “where, for a moment, a truth hidden from man, life is suddenly revealed, luminous and lucid.
With Shin Seok-ho and Park Miso, the film, divided into three chapters, tells the story of a young man and his girlfriend who reflect on the relationships between them and with others.
Instead of a thank you speech, Hong uploaded a video to the official Berlinale website. The two-minute video first shows a letter of gratitude to the jury and festival organizers. Next, it shows a snail slowly crawling across a rocky surface, with actor Kim Minhee’s buzzing voice in the background singing the song “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”.
“I found this young snail a long time ago while walking with Kim Minhee at our house,” Hong wrote in the letter. “And I wanted to show you this snail as a little gift.” It is a difficult time. Take care of yourself, take good care of yourself.
Kim has been a muse for Hong, appearing in several of his films, including “Introduction”. She won the Silver Bear for Best Actress in 2017 for her performance in Hong’s “On the Beach at Night Alone”. In 2017, they admitted they were in a romantic relationship. Since Hong got married and his wife refused him a divorce, the relationship with Kim has sparked controversy in Korea.
The Golden Bear for Best Picture went to “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn” directed by Romanian director Radu Jude. The satirical drama tells the story of a teacher who struggles to defend her work and her reputation after her sex video was leaked on the internet. The Silver Bear Jury Grand Prize went to “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi from Japan.
From this year, the Berlinale will no longer award separate prizes for acting to male and female actors. Her first-ever gender-neutral award for Best Principal Performance went to German actress Maren Eggert for her performance in the sci-fi comedy “I’m Your Man”.
Festival organizers plan to hold an in-person awards ceremony in June if pandemic conditions permit.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [[email protected]]